W. B. Yeats

Standard Name: Yeats, W. B.
Used Form: William Butler Yeats
Used Form: Willie Yeats
WBY , who began publishing well before the end of the nineteenth century, is regarded as one of the most important twentieth-century poets in English, and one of the most international of Irish writers. He was early involved in the Irish Literary Revival, and wrote early, highly romantic lyrics on Celtic and fairy themes. Later he made poetry out of the search for a poetic language. Some of his later work is affected by his interest in the occult.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Anthologization Dorothy Wellesley
Horses, having gone forward into Poems of Ten Years, 1924-1934, was selected by W. B. Yeats for The Oxford Book of Modern Verse, 1935, and by Philip Larkin for The Oxford Book...
Anthologization Michael Field
The Poetry Bookshop issued A Selection From the Poems of Michael Field in 1923, bringing together pieces from their published poetry collections and plays, such as Underneath the Bough, Callirrhoë; Fair Rosamund, Wild...
Anthologization Katharine Tynan
In 1895 (the same year that KT published Christmas Verses) W. B. Yeats printed some of her poems, including The Children of Lir, in his anthology A Book of Irish Verse.
Hinkson, Pamela. “The Friendship of Yeats and Katharine Tynan, II: Later Days of the Irish Literary Movement”. The Fortnightly, No. 1043 n.s., pp. 323 - 36.
Cultural formation Florence Farr
W. B. Yeats introduced FF to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn , a secret occult society based on Rosicrucian beliefs and practices.
Gilbert, R. A., and Florence Farr. “Preface to the Collectanea Hermetica Series”. Egyptian Magic, Aquarian Press, 1982, p. vi.
Johnson, Josephine. Florence Farr: Bernard Shaw’s new woman. Colin Smythe, 1975.
Cultural formation John Millington Synge
He first met William Butler Yeats , one of two major Irish literary contemporaries who also rejected religion in their youth, in 1896. (The other scoffer at religion, James Joyce , he met only once...
Cultural formation Elinor Glyn
During the late 1920s and early 30s, EG was caught up in the wave of Spiritualism (the belief that the living can contact the dead through mediums) that had been gaining ground in England particularly...
Cultural formation Annie Besant
AB 's fascination with Theosophy and its tenets of reincarnation and karma developed quickly in the year after her first meeting with Blavatsky. Another who shared her interest was W. B. Yeats .
Taylor, Anne. Annie Besant: A Biography. Oxford University Press, 1992.
242, 253
Dedications Dorothy Wellesley
This selection of poems (sometimes of excerpts) comes entirely from Poems of Ten Years, except for the opening piece, Fire: An Incantation, which was written in May 1935
Wellesley, Dorothy, and W. B. Yeats. Selections from the Poems of Dorothy Wellesley. Macmillan, 1936.
v, 11
and which later...
Education Jennifer Johnston
JJ began going to school at the tender age of three: she had problems with her sight and it was felt that this would teach her to recognise her letters. She attended Park House School...
Education Enid Bagnold
At the age of fifteen EB won a school poetry competition and was rewarded with a visit with W. B. Yeats . Years later, she recalled that he advised her never to interest herself in...
Education Bessie Head
The regime included plenty of household chores and caning as a punishment (with both of which Bessie was familiar), while the curriculum featured singing, drawing, cookery, dressmaking, nature study, and gardening as well as more...
Education Margaret Kennedy
During her last year at Cheltenham , MK heard W. B. Yeats lecture on the Irish poet and playwright J. M. Synge .
Biographer Violet Powell gives Synge's initialswrongly as J. B.
Powell, Violet. The Constant Novelist. W. Heinemann, 1983.
Education Adrienne Rich
Here she was introduced to the poetry of Donne , Yeats , Eliot , Pound , Frost , Thomas , MacNeice , Stevens , and Ginsberg .
Yorke, Liz. Adrienne Rich: Passion, Politics, and the Body. Sage, 1997.
Rich enjoyed her time at Radcliffe, though...
Education Emily Hickey
She demonstrated an early interest in reading. Scott , Tennyson , and Barrett Browning numbered among her early favourites. Her father, however, did not allow her to read Shakespeare , as he was repelled by...
Education Julia O'Faolain
At junior school JOF 's talent for mimicry won her two medals for poetry reading: an Elizabethan poem in an English accent and from W. B. Yeats in an Irish one.
O’Faolain, Julia. Trespassers, A Memoir. Faber and Faber, 2014.


The year following Irish nationalist Ellen O'Leary 's death from breast cancer on 15 October 1889, her Lays of Country, Home and Friends (many of them political) were collected and published.
December 1891
William Butler Yeats established (in London) the Irish Literary Society ; the National Literary Society at Dublin followed the next year.
By April 1894
English theatre patron Annie Horniman funded a repertory season at the Avenue Theatre (later the Avenue Playhouse), London which concentrated on the new drama.
By earlier 1903
Elizabeth and Lily (or Susan Mary) Yeats established the Dun Emer Press in association with Evelyn Gleeson , manager of Dun Emer Industries in Dundrum, near Dublin.
Some sources suggest that the press...
By earlier 1903
Elizabeth and Lily (or Susan Mary) Yeats established the Dun Emer Press in association with Evelyn Gleeson , manager of Dun Emer Industries in Dundrum, near Dublin.
Some sources suggest that the press...
The Cuala Press of Dublin published its first two titles; it was the successor to the Dun Emer Press , founded by Elizabeth and Lily Yeats , sisters of the poet .
3 August 1916
In the aftermath of the Easter Rising, Irish nationalist Roger Casement , formerly Sir Roger, was executed for treason at Pentonville Prison in London for attempting to smuggle a shipment of German arms to Ireland.
8 February 1932
Count Geoffrey Wladislas Vaile Potocki of Montalk went to trial (and was later convicted) for obscene libel for having tried to get printed for private circulation five short poems.
Margot Ruddock published The Lemon Tree, a collection of her poetry edited by W. B. Yeats .
By June 1958
The Nigerian Chinua Achebe published his first and still most famous novel, Things Fall Apart (titled from W. B. Yeats ).
By July 1964
Canadian writer Jane Rule issued in Canada and England her best-known novel, Desert of the Heart, whose title alludes to W. H. Auden 's poem on the death of Yeats .
Roger McHugh edited a collection of letters between W. B. Yeats and Margot Ruddock entitled Ah, Sweet Dancer.